They say that lightening doesn’t strike twice and we should make hay while the sun shines. So, why is it that when the planets are aligned just right and the humidity is perfect and the universe is going out of its way to help us create something truly wonderful, we self-sabotage and refuse to do it? We make excuses that we’re tired or just need a few more minutes of couch time watching something truly mindless.
For me, it’s the inner editor I don’t want to listen to and the words I think that won’t come. I have a bad habit of admitting to failure even before I start. At a recent meeting of creative minds, my friends and I talked about our inability to write when the pen or keyboard is hot and ignore our creative impulses. We concluded we were going about things the wrong way and scheduling our creative or meditation time when we’re the most tired and exhausted. We get home from work and eat dinner and take care of the mundane tasks and when we’re done, the idea of a sitting in front of the computer writing or taking time to meditate just doesn’t seem very appealing. We schedule our pleasure after our chores and responsibilities are done and we’re too tired to do anything else instead of the other way around.
I grew up in a culture where you had to earn your pleasure. Get up early and get your chores done so you could enjoy the rest of the day was a common mantra which I carried into my adult life. I also grew up in a very cold area where you HAD to get the chores done first otherwise you’d freeze to death. But since I live in the Pacific Northwest, all we have to worry about are our gutters overflowing during a downpour and an occasional volcano getting restless. I also don’t have kids and can always pawn laundry duty off on my husband.
Now, I do have put in the obligatory disclaimer about being a lazy butt, but we’re all adults here and we know when shit needs to get done. However, scheduling writing or creative time when we are brain-dead and tired is not effective. Yes, we can’t always wait for the muse, but when the planets are aligned just so for our pleasure, we need to hop on the wave of creativity and ride into shore. The TV will always be there and if not, there’s Netflix or TV on demand.
My friends and I concluded we need to work creativity into our daily lives and routines. I have a friend who sketches in the sun during her lunch hour instead of sitting at her desk wolfing down her food. It helps clear her mind from work and get some much needed Vitamin D we Pacific Northwesterners so desperately need. Another friend plans on taking meditative walks during her lunch hour to work in time for meditated and I concluded I will keep a notebook with me to jot down story and article ideas as they come to me.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have had a fair amount of serendipity in my life and if I had waited until my favorite TV show was over to take advantage, I would be sitting on my couch wondering what I just missed. What about you? How can you work creativity into your daily life and not when you “have time” or after your favorite TV show ends? How can you ride the creative wave? Next week, I’m going to write about the power of rest and the creative process.